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CycloMed99 News Release on NRCan-ITAP

For Immediate Release | February 28, 2013, 9:00 am PDT

TRIUMF Team Welcomes Isotope Investment 

(Vancouver, BC) --- The CycloMed99 consortium welcomes the investment by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) through the Isotope Technology Acceleration Program (ITAP) and our partners in provinces, universities, and industry.  These funds represent a continued investment from NRCan resulting from our earlier efforts during the Non-reactor-based Isotope Supply Contribution Program (NISP).

As announced in February 2012, CycloMed99 has demonstrated the capability to produce the world’s most popular medical isotope, technetium-99m, on medical cyclotrons already installed in Ontario and British Columbia.  Our solution in ITAP includes regulatory approval and commercial roll out for a truly national technetium production solution for the benefit of all Canadians, by securing medical isotopes for our patients when the NRU reactor in Chalk River ceases production in 2016.  We have a clear pathway to address and stabilize this gap.

Principal investigator Paul Schaffer leads the team and is head of TRIUMF’s Nuclear Medicine Division. He said, “The federal government has invested in our team to deliver an innovation for the benefit of all Canadians. We look forward to delivering a domestic solution to the medical isotope crisis in the near future.”

"The Harper Government is working to find new ways of producing medical isotopes for the diagnosis of heart disease and cancer in Canadians,” said the Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. “The project with TRIUMF is designed to enable medical centres across Canada to produce their own key isotopes for local patients.”

The CycloMed99 consortium consists of the BC Cancer Agency, the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization, Lawson Health Research Institute, and TRIUMF.  Several industrial partners are also involved and are developing commercialization pathways consistent with the program objectives.